Your Book Will Be Judged By Its Cover!

Author: Cherrie Woods

 The Anvil



Word on the street is that there are over 1M indie (self-published) books and approximately 20K traditionally published books published annually, just in the U.S.  How does an author stand out in this market if they don't have an established brand? Your book cover is a major beginning for your brand.

Research says that bookstore browsers spend about eight seconds looking at your front cover and 15 seconds reading your back cover (Amazon reduces that time). Herein lies the importance of ensuring your book cover is professional and interesting enough to stand out in a literal crowd.

There are nine guidelines for authors that will help to ensure your book cover is the most effective it can be. That does not mean that book covers that do not follow the guidelines will not be effective, these are simply guidelines to maximize the effectiveness of your cover.


Book Covers and Publicity

A professional, effective book cover can make all the difference in whether it is showcased during your PR campaigns. All of my author clients' book covers have been shown in the media coverage I secured for them during their publicity campaigns – whether it’s television, online media, print publications or event pages. Why? Because their covers follow most of the guidelines identified below. Some of the cover designs were created by my graphic design team, others have utilized a book cover designer of their own.

For authors who have not yet designed their book covers, my advice is to research traditionally-published authors book covers in your genre and Imitate Don’t Duplicate! The covers designed by traditionally published authors are the result of market research done by publishers and are usually on point in catering to what readers seek when purchasing a book. Big publishing companies have the dollars to do the research, so pay attention to what they do!.

 Here are the 9 guidelines:                

  1. The title is big and easy to read / The author's name stands out    
  2. There are only two to three fonts used on the cover   
  3. The cover artwork (if applicable) looks professional – some covers only use words    
  4. It is easy to identify the book’s genre from the cover - (fiction, nonfiction, poetry)
  5. The book price is on the back cover                                                               
  6. The author’s headshot/short bio is on the back cover or the inside cover – especially if you are a new writer / not all authors add their headshots
  7. There is a testimonial(s) on the front, back cover or in the first two pages – from someone of note/expert on your book topic, celebrity, published author in your genre
  8. The back cover has a short bio (100 wds or less) and a synopsis (200 wds or less) spaced out professionally
  9. The name of the book is visible on the spine – for shorter books (usually under 100 pages, this is not applicable).

 Also check out chapter 3 in my PR guide to learn more about book covers.

Check out book covers from my design team HERE!

Email me to discuss your cover HERE